Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Greens throw mud in internal party election

A couple of readers have contacted me today about the Green Party's election for its external communications officer. Rupert Read and Jason Kitkat are standing on job-share basis against the current incumbent Tracy Dighton-Brown.

And their supporters are fighting a personal and dirty campaign.

On Read and Knight's own campaign site one supporter has written:
On Friday 12 June, Tracy Dighton-Brown, the current External Comms Co-ordinator, said to me, and I quote exactly: “I’m going to destroy you, Mark Hill.”
I can work with the madness of the Royal Mail. I can cope with the civil service for the sake of the Party. But I simply can’t work with an External Comms Co-ordinator who routinely excludes me from Committee meetings and decisions, and who is basically impossible to work with. lists six (count 'em) reasons why is Dighton-Brown's fault that the Greens did not do better in the recent Norwich by-election, where Read was the party's candidate.

Among them is that she:
caused two press officers to resign. Sian Berry and Gary Dunion - who had come up with a strategy to build a media narrative (as they had done with huge success in the London campaign) - resigned after Tracy trashed their strategy. The strategy was never replaced, and nor was one of their posts.
She does have her defenders among Green bloggers. Another Green World writes:
I have been amazed by how much mud has been thrown at Tracy Dighton-Brown the current External comms member of the Green Party Executive. 
Unfounded rumours that she is opposed to the free post system are one example.
and I have had this 'Tracy is one of the most frightening and scary people that I have ever met. She is utterly manipulative, two-faced and has no sense of morality as far as I can see. I am personally terrified that she is in control of the Green Party's media operation. 
All she has done so far is to stop other people from doing things.' 
Remind me. Wasn't it Rupert Read who launched, to great fanfares, his "clean politics pledge" during the Norwich North campaign?

Indeed it was. Here he is writing on the Norwich Green Party website on 7 July:
If politicians are going to mean what they say about cleaning up politics, then it is vital to begin with cleaning up political campaigning. Citizens need to be able to trust what politicians say ... 
A clean campaign is about having a constructive debate on the issues between the candidates and ensuring that the issues are not obscured by lies, personal attacks and mud-throwing.
Maybe that pledge should be extended to the Green Party's own internal elections?

Later. This internal election has now been abandoned.


Chris Terry said...

Occasionally I think how nice it'd be if the Greens were represented in parliament and if they had a voice in Parliament how lovely it'd be, and then I look at the party and remember that most of its leadership are still amateurish or worse and that some of its policies are ludicrous. No thank you.

James Graham (Quaequam Blog!) said...

Au contraire, I think the Greens having some decent representation would be a good thing. They would have to stop being little more than a repository for protest votes and become a proper pro-environment party. Their dafter policies and activists would be exposed and they would have to eject them or face oblivion again. That could only be a good thing for our politics.

David Cox said...

James there is already a perfectly good proper pro-environment party- its called the Liberal Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Rupert Read has now pulled out of the re-run ballot at Party conference.